Glencoe finishes a win shy of state softball tournament

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Photo courtesy of Average Joe’s Sports Talk

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

For the second straight year, the Glencoe High softball team came in third place at the East Regional Tournament at the Albertville Sports Park.
In the elimination games on Thursday, May 9, the Lady Yellow Jackets lost to Piedmont, 8-6.
Leading Piedmont 6-4 after five innings, Glencoe was six out from a berth in the state tournament before the Lady Bulldogs scored twice in both the sixth and seventh innings.
The Lady Jackets (19-26-1) got off to a great start against Piedmont with a four-run first inning. Summer Crump and Abi Bunt (pictured above) singled and scored on Cayse Willet’s double, while Jordyn Morris doubled in Willett and Evelyn Nowak singled home Morris. But the lead did not last long, as the Lady Bulldogs scored four runs in the top of the third to tie the game 4-4.
Glencoe, however, regained the lead in the fifth when Bunt led off with a triple and scored Willet’s double. Aubrey Maxwell then singled home Willet to make it 6-4 in favor of the Lady Yellow Jackets.
But that tuned out to be the extent of Glencoe’s offense for the game. Savannah Smith retired the next three Glencoe batters to get Piedmont out of inning, and the Jacksonville State signee allowed only three more baserunners the rest of the way, none of whom advanced past second.
Meanwhile, Piedmont tied it in the sixth when Cacey Brothers scored on a passed ball and Carson Young singled home Na’ kiya Bothwell.
Smith provided the winning run in the top of the seventh when she tripled in Brothers and Cadence Buttram.
In a complete-game effort, Smith scattered 12 hits and six runs while striking out nine. She did not issue a walk. She helped her cause by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a triple, three RBI and a run scored.
For Glencoe, Willett went 3-for-4 with two double, three RBI and two runs scored; Maxwell went 3-for-4 with an RBI; and Bunt went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, finishing third two years in a row, but our girls really got after it and played their tails off,” said Glencoe head coach Taylor Talbot. “We just didn’t get it done late and came up a few runs short. It’s tough to win three straight [games] after you fall into the loser’s bracket, but we did a great job of giving ourselves a chance (to make the state tournament) two years in a row. Our girls left it all out there.”
Against J.B. Pennington, Glencoe and the Lady Tigers combined for 20 hits, including nine for extra bases. The Lady Yellow Jackets trailed 3-0 before pushing across three runs in the top of the third – one on Emma Croy’s sacrifice fly and two more on Willett’s two-run triple.
J.B. Pennington regained the lead at 6-3, but Glencoe answered in the top of the fifth when Bunt homered with Croy on base. Willett then doubled and scored off an error to tie it at 6-6.
The Lady Jackets put the hammer down in the sixth. Croy lined a two-run double, Bunt singled in Croy and Aubrey Maxwell and Adyson Owens both came home on an error to make it 11-8 in favor of Glencoe.
Crump took care of the rest, retiring J.B. Pennington in order in the sixth and allowed only a one-out single in the seventh. In seven innings, she allowed 10 hits, five earned runs and three walks while fanning six. Bunt went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, Willett went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, Croy went 1-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored and Sadie Waldrop went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Glencoe then dropped into the playback bracket with a 6-1 loss to Plainview.
Plainview starting pitcher Faith Odom shut out the Lady Jackets over the first six innings until Waldrop scored on a passed ball with one out in the top of the seventh. The Lady Bears were up 6-0 at that point, however, and a double play in the next at-bat ended the game. In seven innings, Odom allowed five hits, one run and four walks while striking out seven. Crump went 2-for-4, while Bunt, Maxwell and Waldrop each had a hit.
Glencoe rebounded in fine fashion, erupting for 13 hits, including eight for extra bases, in a 15-0 win over Vinemont in five innings. Bunt led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, four RBI and two runs scored. Maxwell went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored; Waldrop went 2-for-3 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored; Crump went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored; and Nowak had a double and two runs scored.
The Lady Yellow Jackets carried that momentum into their game against Weaver, during which Glencoe overcame an early three-run deficit to win by a score of 10-6. Trailing 4-1 heading into the third inning, Croy scored off an RBI groundout, Bunt came home on Morris’ sacrifice fly and Willett stole home to tie the score at 4-4.
The Lady Jackets took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Crump doubled and scored on Croy’s base hit. Croy did even better in the top of the sixth, when her inside-the-park home run with runners on first and second pushed the advantage to 8-4. Maxwell’s two-run single later in the inning put Glencoe ahead 10-4.
The Lady Bears scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but winning pitcher Kynsley Freeman induced a pop out to end the game. In 5.2 innings of relief work, Freeman allowed four hits, two runs and three walks while fanning six. Croy went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored; Willett went 2-for-4 with two runs scored; and Crump went 2-for-5 with three runs scored.
“We knew that Plainview would be a tough draw, and we played well in that game but just couldn’t get the big hit,” said Talbot. “We really set the tone offensively early on against Vinemont and were able to play fast. Kynsley really stepped up for us against Weaver, and Abi and Emma and Cayse had some big hits for us.
“Our seniors (Bunt, Croy, Willett, Crump, Maxwell and Morris) really played outstanding during this tournament, like they have all year. They’ve all done so much for this program and set a great standard for our younger kids.”

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